Thursday, January 17, 2008


This post of Constance's is interesting to me, especially of late. My husband was just saying to me yesterday that he has these impending feelings of doom. I said "since we married?" and he said, not getting it, NO, since we had these kids!

It's awful to be home with a newborn, I think. It's easier with my second but with my first, man, I just thought every day was going to be his last. I have a cousin who lost a baby to SIDS many years ago and it's impossible for me not to think of that like several times a day. When I was first home with Joseph, I went to the library and got some books - I figured I would read a little bit and take my mind off the fact that my baby never stopped screaming. He was about 8 weeks old. So I got a Jennifer Weiner book, I had read In Her Shoes, I think, and I thought it would be nice light reading about a girl with a boy problem. That book title up there should be underlined, I know! I can't find the underline and it was threatening to make me cry so I just italicized. ANYWAY. I got this book called Little Earthquakes and I started to read it and I should have known right away that it was going to be trouble. There's a girl in it that is leaving her husband and she is carrying her Vera Bradley diaper bag out of habit and there is no baby in the picture. It turns out that her baby died when he was 10 weeks old (I am starting to lose it here, Good LORD) while she was out getting a manicure and pedicure. It was the first time she had left him and he died. She is really upset about his fingernails - they were really long because he was a fussy baby and she could never do it while he slept or anything, and he was always waving them around.

So. I had a crazily fussy baby at the time and everyone was always trying to get me to go get my freaking nails done. So that I could "relax". Also he had the longest nails ever because we could never get him to unjam his hands out of tight fists. So I read that book in about 30 minutes and then I had a breakdown when my husband got home from work because I just knew that this bad baby was going to be taken away from me. And I was so worried that people would think that I didn't care about him because he had such long nails, plus I was always complaining about him because I just knew regular babies couldn't be like that. This book was very upsetting to me, I couldn't stop telling people about it and when I told people I couldn't stop crying. Like CRYING. Ugly crying, as Oprah might say.

Sometimes people would say to me, "do you think you should see someone?" and I would say WHEN? WHEN AM I SUPPOSED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE AND TAKE TIME AWAY AND SEE SOMEONE? TO TALK ABOUT MY FEELINGS? I'd say it like that, too. The thing is, I felt strongly that I wasn't depressed, I felt tired. And hopeless. But I wasn't sleeping and my baby never stopped screaming. Which was depressing! So I never knew if I should have seen someone, or taken something. I never did, my son got better at around four months, I read a million books and decided to do something about the sleeping issue and it got better, for real, by about ... well, if I'm going to be honest maybe nine months but still. It got better.

Now I am home with a one week old and my breasts are *killing* me. I have these big giant children (9.2 and 9.6 pounds) with these teensy mouths and oh! the first two weeks! Are! Killing! Me! But I'm sleeping better than I did when I was home with Joseph and we've done it before and my husband is a GIGANTIC help but I am still so scared, sometimes (mostly late at night when I get the SANEST thoughts) that she will be colicky too, that she's not gaining enough weight, that I won't be able to continue breastfeeding, on and on and on. Parenthood sucks, Todd said last night, and he's right. Sometimes.


My Secret Apartment said...

It gets better. It takes time but it gets better and two is way more fun than 1. You can do it.
PS It's totally normal to feel overwhelmed and emotional and happy and tired and everything in between.

"Constance-1-M" said...


Your post is pretty much why I'm on the fence about having a second child ... down to the SIDS fears & overwhelming need to sleep/cry/run away all at the same time.

2:30am was the WORST time of day for me when Princess was a newborn. I could not be awake at that moment & not sob. Hormones & exhaustion are a brain blender.